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Renegades breaks 21-year winless spell
Armed with blazing flames and glittering confetti BpTT Renegades broke a 21-year winless spell Saturday into Sunday morning to take top honours in the largeband category of Panorama 2018 with a Duvone Stewart arrangement of Year for Love.
Stewart earned double honourswith five-time winners Pan Elders leading the field among the medium bands playing the 41 year old arranger’s version of Brigo’s Limbo Break.
The Renegades’ win, with 287 points, made it ten times at the top for the 70-year-old Port-of- Spain-based band.
Its winning ways had come relatively late in its history with a hat-trick covering the years 1982, 1984 and 1985. The band also won in 1989, 1990 and 1993, then achieved another hat-trick with wins in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
Sunday morning, players and fans assembled in large numbers at the band’s Charlotte Street headquarters in anticipation of a win. They were not let down, while a jubilant Stewart negotiated a heavy security cordon on stage to collect his band’s winnings.
A heavy police presence was in evidence throughout the proceedings, with officers managing the stage outfitted in riot gear and bearing batons.
Meanwhile, the win for Pan Elders also marked a significant milestone in steelband history with five consecutive wins in the competition starting in 2014.
The evening started promptly at 7 pm and ended just short of eight hours later with the final notes struck by fourth place Invaders.
In second place among the large bands was Skiffle, which trailed by seven points and was followed by third-placed Desperadoes (279), Shell Invaders (278), Massy Trinidad All Stars and Nutrien Silver Stars with 277 points apiece, Phase II Pan Groove (276), FC Supernovas (275), Republic Bank Exodus (273) and MHTL Starlift on 270.
The Renegades run of form held steady throughout all phases of the competition, maintaining first place from the preliminary to final rounds. However, crowd favourites Phase II Pan Groove slid from second in the preliminaries to third in the semis to seventh on Saturday.
A similar slide occurred in the case of FC Supernovas which placed sixth in the semis but ould only muster an eighth place position despite improving on its score. By contrast, Skiffle staged a recovery after sliding to fourth position in the semis after occupying second slot at the preliminaries.
Pan Elders (285 points) beat back second-placed Petrotrin Katzenjammers on 274, a margin of 11 points.
In third place was Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille (272) followed by NLCB Buccooners (271), Petrotrin Siparia Deltones (268) and joint sixth-place contestants NLCB Valley Harps and Curepe Scherzando on 266 points.
Potential Symphony came in eighth with 264 points with Sangre Grande Cordettes (263) and Arima Angel Harps (262) trailing the pack.
In addition to Stewart, Carlton “Zanda” Alexander and Terrence Marcelle worked double shifts in the medium and large band categories.
Alexander served as arranger for both Petrotrin Siparia Deltones and Desperadoes, while Marcelle did the honours for Petrotrin Katzenjammers and Republic Bank Exodus.
Among the large bands, three songs enjoyed multiple places.
International Soca Monarch 2018 Aaron “Voice” St Louis’ Year for Love was played twice, along with Patrice Roberts’ Sweet for Days and Lightning Flash by Ultimate Rejects. Voice scored a hat-trick of victories when he took the soca crown this year.
A thin, sedate North Stand audience, which never appeared to cross the 25 per cent mark, contrasted with an energised, almost capacity Grand Stand. The “track” was, meanwhile, heavily populated as bands made their way to the Queen’s Park Savannah stage and yet another keen steelband encounter.
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